Mathieson Called Up, Oswalt to the DL

The Phillies have placed SP Roy Oswalt on the disabled list with a back problem and have called up Scott Mathieson, 27, to take Oswalt’s place on the roster.  In his nine appearances this year, Mathieson is 0-0 with a 4.61 ERA with one save in 13.2 innings of work.  Mathieson has had some control issues walking 10 thus far, while striking out 15. Mathieson has stepped out of his normal late inning role with Lehigh Valley as of late throwing three plus innings a couple of times, logging over 50 pitches in those outings.  Oswalt is eligible to come off the DL as soon as this coming Friday.

106 thoughts on “Mathieson Called Up, Oswalt to the DL

  1. Might this be his final chance with the Phils? Let’s see if he gets a fair shake this time. Charlie has shown that he’s comfortable with Stutes & Bastardo in the 8th inning role, so he’ll have to get some time in the 6th-7th with Baez.

    1. This is Mathieson’s one official “Mulligan.” Often times players who have nearly made the big club or get a cup of coffee will perform poorly when their expectations are shattered and they are demoted to the minors. It happens all the time. But he may only get one chance to right the ship with the Phillies.

      By the way, for what it’s worth, Mike Stutes, our very own “poor man’s” Tim Lincecum, will never be returned to the minors. He’s here to stay.

      1. Agreed on Stutes. Baez would be cut loose before they sent Stutes back down. UC is giving him meaningful innings.

        1. Thats what I WANT to happen. But something tells me it wont actually work out that way.

    2. Way too early for that. He has the whole year (to use up his option) to show them something. High 90s fastballs dont usually get put through waivers unless the team has no choice.

      1. He has before and everyone has passed on him. He’s not considered a prospect by MLB clubs.

        1. To be fair, those were optional waivers that were revocable, so it probably wasn’t worth the time for any team to put a claim in only to have Mathieson pulled back.

    1. I’d assume that if he were optioned to Lehigh Valley to start the season, he can go back. Either way though, if Mathieson doesn’t succeed this time I’d be comfortable letting him go elsewhere and trying his luck with another organization.

      1. That is not completly true because Sergio Escalona was going up and down between the Phils and the minors a couple years ago.

        1. What he means is that it only uses up one option to send a player down multiple times in one season.

        2. What I meant to ask: Was Mathieson out of options? I understand if he is still in his option years, he can be sent back and forth. I thought he was out of options.

          1. My understanding of it is that if its an option year, a player can always be sent back and forth as much as the team wants.

  2. The phillies need to counter the move the league has made against them. bringing in lefthanders to face them in relief. I know they have a great record so far. but it about championship now. need a right handed bat bad. or move polanco to five hole. ben francisco isnt the answer he is a fourth outfielder at best. a short term fill in like mayberry. even brown wont help. too much invested in team not to spend a little more to help fix the problem. last night was horrible to watch with 2 and 3rd and no outs. howard got himself out on bad pitches , so did ben. ibanez was overmatched. cant believe we dont have one righthanded bat in minors who can help.

    1. I was at the Phils / Nats game on Thursday. Howard definitely needs a breather. His bat was very slow. He wasn’t catching up to anything. Mayberry looked good with an RBI double. Bastardo had a little trouble but it was of his own making. He was getting behind hitters and you just can’t do that.

      1. Hmm, the Phillies lineup without Howard:

        I wonder why he is not getting a breather?

        1. I think Gload would be the starter if Howard were to sit, but either way, thats not a very threatening lineup.

    2. Disagree that the Phillies need to counter. I agree that it would be nice to have a better right handed bat, but the bigger picture is still that they have the best record in baseball without Utley and Brown. Let’s get them back and see where the team is in July to see if a move needs to be made.

    1. dude, I’d stay away from Hunter Pence. Aside from his service status (he’s near FA), Pence is too much like many of the players on this team – low OBP and strikes out too often without BBs. He’ll add to the incompetent situational hitting of this team, and I’m certain the trade would cost the Phils Cosart, Singleton, or Colvin.

  3. Blanton comes back on Monday which will offset Ruiz probably going on the DL and then if Oswalt is activated to start next Friday when he is eligible, somebody has to go to the minors and they will either pick Worley or Mathieson at this point so if Mathieson does well, they’re likely to send Worley back to keep working as a starter. If he steps in it again like he always has before, they will probably keep Worley at this point as a reliever.

    1. I don’t like the thought of Worley sitting in the pen. Keep him stretched out at LV.

      1. I’m hoping Vance keeps his scheduled start and Joe B goes for a tune-up start in the minors. It’s tough to trust Joe on when he’s on a regular schedule. How can we trust him on his first start back after sitting for 2 weeks?

  4. Also interesting how we all talked on this site a few months ago about how there would only be one/two opening for young relievers as the bullpen would be – Lidge, Madson, Romero, Contreras, Baez, Bastardo, and Herndon. Now tonight our 7 man bullpen will include Bastardo, Stutes, Worley, and Mathieson.

      1. Sardinha will go when Ruiz is back, Martinez will go when Brown is ready. Despite the rule 5 label.
        When Lidge and/or Contreras comes back Baez should be released

  5. would you do worley and say valle for pence if houston goes for it??
    or worley and someone from the minors like may or overbeck, dont know what they would take but ,would you do worley and a combo for pence>>

    1. Why all the pence love? Simmer down.

      let the phillies get healthy and use what options we already have. Remember, utley has sat on a chair taking ground balls for a few months now; and when you put +WAR player like him back in the lineup of a team with this type of pitching, you’re going to see positive results. Granted that is at least a 10-14 days away in a rosy scenario… Re: outfield if you bring up brown – play him in tandem with francisco and use an ibanez/mayberry split is going to get a lot more production; then get utley back… throw in blanton and contreras… all the sudden I feel a lot better about the lineup.

      That said, given the contributions we’ve gotten from younger players, you have to be excited about our current position (even if the early part of the schedule was mostly against crappy teams). This next stretch will be telling about the younger set.

    2. No. More about Valle than Worley even if Worley has more value now. Valle is our only reasonable catching prospect and would hit the majors just when Ruiz might start to slow down a bit and migrate to a backup role.

      And in general I think Pence is not the answer on offense. I would look for right handed bats at the trading deadline or in free agency next winter.

      1. This is a joke, right? Worley and Valle for Pence?

        That would be an absolute steal, but it would never happen because even Ed Wade would laugh and hang up the phone if that was the offer.

        Seriously, people?

  6. Hopefully Mathiason can finally show something. Worley needs to stay a starter so he’ll go down. Hopefully, JB can get get on a role before the deadline. If he can look for a three team deal including a contender that needs pitching. If Phils are in market for a RH bat of course.

  7. At this point it seems pretty clear that Mathieson has nothing to “show.” I suspect the only reason he’s getting the call is that he’s stretched out to be the long man now that KK is a temporary starter.

    And his option lasts all year. They can send him down and recall him every fifteen days if they like until the end of the season.

    1. He’s getting the call because he’s the best of a small number of crappy options. No one else in AAA is really showing much right now. They’re not about to call Herndon back up or Zagurski. Schwimer was a possibility but he’s struggling so calling him up would make no sense.

  8. Mathieson – given the good possibility of this being a short term assignment due to the possible return of MLB type players, and the minor nature of the projected role , and it will be the 7th, 8th, and 9th for Bastardo, Stutes , and Mathieson, with some augmentation by J. C. Romero in that, and Mathieson will be with the Baez, Kendrick, mix when things settle a bit, it could be that Mathieson is the least regarded among the minors relief semi-prospects and the one they are least concerned about disrupting the rythym and flow and developmental path of.

  9. anyomous ? Is it just me? didnt the giants expose our inability to hit lefthanders? now teams have loaded up with them in the east, we need a right handed bat. someone who takes the pressure off howard. even with utley we are not good against lefthand pitching. especially late in games. and look at our righthanded bats off the bench > mayberry and then martinez?? or valdez? or sardina? does that scare a team. maybe its me. if we dont get a righthanded bat then i would move polanco to fifth in the lineup. at least he doesnt strike out and can hit a double no power i know but he would help

    1. I take your point on the hitting side, but the playoffs is about pitching. The Giants had an incredible fluky year in terms of pitchers and not seeing injuries… I don’t think that happens again. I would also reiterate, it may be my personal view that Hunter Pence is a marginal improvement over what you already have. I also reiterate that this team looks very different when the 6+ players that are important come off the DL.

      In the mean time, I am enjoying watching some of these younger players…

  10. someone has to take baez place and romero is on the way out. hurry up defraus we need you/

    1. Hey JC has pitched well…Baez is coming back to reality and when Lidge returns it might be time to choose Stutes over Baez

  11. Mikemike – baez and romero are non factors in the post season – playoffs are about having a couple dominant starters, a couple dominant relievers at the back end, and an offense that can score some runs consistently. I’m mostly worried about the third part of that equation. With the starters this team has, Madson Contreras Bastardo and Stutes are enough in the playoffs, we just need to score runs against good pitching…

  12. I have been beating a dead horse, take away the 2HRs/6 RBI games against the dreadful Mets, Ryan Howard’s #’s are pedestrian at best. Having watched him from day one, he is a worse hitter now than he was his first few years and is getting worse by the day. At times he sickens me. I have NEVER seen a MLB player swing and miss so many pitches. Does anyone have a thought or idea as to what is going on with him? Is there any way we can work out a deal to send him home to St. Louis for Puhols, maybe add one of our minor league pitchers? Howard’s production has declined steadily since his first full year. Aren’t players suppose to get better as they get older? I say get him the hell out of here!

      1. 124 OPS+ isn’t exactly elite level. I don’t think the previous poster was saying Howard stinks, just that Howard has been regressing and has not been playing at a franchise player level in the past two seasons. Honestly, I don’t think such statements are completely outlandish.

        1. “124 Isn’t exactly elite level”.
          Career OPS+
          Tony Perez: 112
          Andre Dawson: 119
          Chase Utley: 129
          Dave Winfield: 130

          1. You are comparing career totals to prime years, and you are also comparing different eras. Please, before taking things out of context, list where Howard ranks among his CURRENT peers in OPS+.

            1. 2011 OPS+

              Adrian Gonzalez: 131
              Ryan Howard : 124
              Albert Pujols: 109
              Jason Werth: 99

            2. Mike,

              That’s not worthy of you. I was accused of cherry picking data a couple days ago, but I’d be embarrassed to try anything that blatant. Howard is 13th among starting first basemen in baseball this season in OPS+. The fact that Pujols, and Werth for that matter, got off to uncharacteristically poor starts, doesn’t make Howard any better.

              Look, 124 OPS+ is not bad. The problem with Howard is that he’s a not particularly good fielding first baseman, and, because he is slow and doesn’t get on base a lot, 125 OPS+ somewhat overestimates his offensive value. (He is 15th overall among major league first basemen this year in WAR, for what it’s worse.

              All THAT said, Howard’s performance is in line with his past few seasons, even a little better than last year. Perceptions of his decline are exagerated by the decline in hitting throughout baseball over the past few years. The problem is that he never (MVP season aside) has been as good as the casual fan (or even MPV voter) thinks. It seems to me that this is incontovertably true. I MIGHT feel differently if either (1) subjective opinions of his fielding were different from the analytical perceptions, of (2) if his career splits* justified his clutch reputions. But neither is true. The difference in impressions is soley a function of a misinterpretation of his offensive numbers combined with a lack of appreciation of the offensive standards for first basemen. And those areas are areas where analytical stats, properly understood, are highly reliable.

              As for the contract, this year’s performance does not answer that question – afterall, the new contract hasn’t even started yet. The argument against the contract is that he never has been as good as his reputation (the MVP season aside), and, while he is not yet in serious decline, it is virtually certain that he will be before his contract runs out.

              *His clutch splits for this season are a little above average. If you really think that that has significant meaning in this discussion – it’s probably not worth taking the discussion any further.

      2. Dude, I NEVER said he is the worst. He is far from it. Read what I wrote. I think his offensive play is declining at a time he should be in his prime. He seems to have less of an idea at the plate now than he did his first year. That is my complaint. Also, I root for him harder than any Phillie player, I just get tired of his flailing away at pitches he shouldn’t be swinging at. I hope he gets 50 HRs and 150 RBIs, or even 40 HRs and 130 RBIs, I’d be thrilled! And, I’d be the first to admit I was wrong about his decline. BTW, I think his defense has improved immensely since he came into the league.

    1. TBone – I couldn’t agree with you more. The contract is going to bite Amaro in the butt in a few years.

    2. Howard is always less than stellar in the Spring. He doesn’t really start earning his paycheck until June and July.

    3. He had the best April of his career by a significant margin and he’s a huge 2nd half player.

      1. and he’s managing almost an RBI a game with no one protecting him in the five hole.

        1. Bravo It looked like they pitched around him with men on
          first and second in one game this week. Guess what! It paid off.

    4. Look, as much as I dislike the Howard’s contract & think he is overrated, this is almost as bad in the other direction. As I say below, his offense, if you set aside the MVP season, is not in serious decline . Offense is down throughout baseball; in context Howard is more or less the same player he has been for the past few years.

      1. Larry Howard’s defense is better. At least he can throw to second base now and he is lighter. Granted he started out in the bowels of defensive hell.

        1. I’m a little bit of an agnosotic regarding the direction of his defensive play. Part of the problem is that I don’t trust subjective impressions when it comes to defense – my own included – OR stats, entirely. My point elsewhere was that both subjective onservations and analytic methods agree that he is below average. Subjective impressions do suggest some improvement, but he’s still below average in that regard.

          I will note that ridiculously bad defensive ratings (UZR)* in 2010 contributed to the impression of decline among analytically minded people. I feel that that is exaggerated – that he was probably better than the defensive numbers last year. FWIW, he’s grading out better defensively this year using UZR.

          Overall, I feel pretty strongly that Howard is more or less the same player he has been for the past few years – he is not yet in serious decline – but that the contract is still horrible.

          *He graded out as having substantially more negative defensive value last year than in the rest of his career combined. No, I don’t buy that as being true.

          1. I understand anyone that believes Howard’s contract is bad. I think it is a bad contract too. What I argue, are calls that he is terrible, and that he is not a productive hitter, that is easily replaced. Overall, Howard has been the best bat in the Phillies lineup since 2006. Calls to “get him out of here” are ignorant.
            As for his contract, yes he is overpaid. But I would argue that nearly every player that has received a 100 million dollar contract has been overpaid. The only players I have seen sign for that much, and made sense at the time of the signing, were CC Sabathia, ARod w/ Texas and Ken Griffey w/Cincinnati. No player over 29 should be signed to anything close to 100m. For that reason, Cliff Lee’s contract is almost as silly as Howard’s.

            1. Well, obviously we are closer to agreeing than one might think, but a couple of minor points. “Howard has been the best bat in the Phillies lineup since 2006” is saying too much IMO. He was the best bat in the lineup that year; he’s been behind Utley & others every year since. Obviously not behind Utley this year, but so far he is behind Polanco, Victorino and even, yes, Rollins (barely) going by offensive WAR, granted that may not last. Even if you’re skeptical that offensive WAR adequately accounts for everything, Polanco is by any reaonable measure better so far this year.

              Don’t get me wrong, Howard is very good, and the above is as much a testament to how good the Phillies’ hitting has been. But I think that there is sadly a good chance in 3 years the consensus will be that he needs to go, instead of that being an odd ball extreme opinion as it is now.

              While agreeing generally about $100 million contracts, Lee’s deal is much better. He is starting from a higher base value (most important factor), there isn’t a 2 year delay before the deal takes effect, and I think that starting pitcher aging curves tend to be more gentle than position player aging curves. And it’s for a little less money per year.

            2. oWAR is position-adjusted, so pointing to it to prove that someone is a better hitter is a little silly. Chase’s oWAR is higher because he’s a 2nd baseman. His oWAR might prove he’s a better player than Howard (due to there being relatively few power-hitting 2B), but not that he’s a better bat.

            3. Okay, fine. He’s only third from 07 to 10 in wOBA*, which is not position adjusted. He’s not a LOT behind, but he is behind (Utley .397, Werth .387, Howard .382) . (And that doesn’t include a couple guys who were regulars for only part of that time and are a little ahead of him).

              Yes, throw 06 into the mix and he inches ahead of Werth, but Utley is still in front.

              And I’m not one of the people denying that he is a very good hitter – but Utley has been better, and Werth comperable.

              *Which, contrary to its confusing name, does take into account all aspects of hitting, and is a good measure of overal hitting efficiency.

  13. thats one of the points left hand pitchers are really killing this team, mostly relief pitching. do you think polanco to fifth will help howard>

    1. The main reason why Ryan Howard is 2nd in baseball in RBIs is because Shane Victorino (.355 obp), Jimmy Rollins (.379), and Polanco (.411) are all getting on base in front of him in the line-up. Moving Polanco behind Howard would do the opposite of providing a benefit to him. I’d much rather see Howard batting with more runners on base and a mediocre hitter behind him than with less runners on base and Polanco behind him. Polanco’s huge OBP would be almost wasted if he was getting on base for anybody on this team currently batting 5 through 8.

      1. Like Lee I didn’t understand why he was gone but now both are back. Nice make up call.

  14. Pujols always has been, is, and will always be a better all around player than Howard. It appears as if St Louis is not willing to give Pujols the same contract as we gave Howard so obviously they wouldn’t take Howard.

    An interesting scenario would be a three way deal where the Phils trade Howard, receive Pujols and sign him to a Howard like deal as part of the trade. Problem is I don’t see any teams taking Howards contract as is so wed have to include $$$ or prospects.

    So for the sake of argument, if the Cubs would take Howard, and the Phils could get Pujols, but have to also part with Cosart Colvin or Singleton to get him, would you do it?

    1. It will take much more than Cosart or Singleton although the Cubs would love Howard. We would have to take a bad contract from the Cubs like Soriano or Zambrano and the Cards would want Blanton,Bastardo,Valle and May at a minimum.

    2. Is this comment serious at all? Of course Pujols is better than Howard.
      And there is no way Howard is traded, given that no one would want that contract.

  15. Yo—guys. By now we should have learned that Howard is a streak hitter. Generally running hot and cold until Aug-Sept when he is THE biggest HR hitter in those latter months.

    If Mathieson has more than a cup of coffee and does well, he could join Fat Jack Blanton as a part of a trade in July or season’s end. The better he does the more attractive he becomes to other teams . This is his opportunity as well as ours.

    On the righty hitter issue, right now Mayberry could fill that role until that trade deadline, on a platoon basis with Ibanez…as Brown will be filling right field. In 3 (?) weeks Utley might return. With Bown, Utley, and Mayberry in the lineup their offense should get back in gear. As well as Ruiz being back.


    That’s a pretty good offensive and defensive lineup. Certainly until the trade deadline.

    We’ll see how it all shakes out; a trade mid-season may not be necessary. If it is, then Blanton (as seen in his last two starts) is a very good trade piece for those teams hoping to make the playoffs…and relying on Worley to take his place isn’t a bad option.

    1. Howard is a streak hitter but does seem to have an inordinate amount of lazy at bats. Last night he was not into the game at all–the last at bat was pitiful.

      1. This is exactly what I mean. He can look SOOOO bad at times I just scratch my head, the same way I scratch my head when he lays the bathead on the ball and drives it over the left center field fence. I can’t figure him out, he can look so good, and the next day, he can look terrible. I guess I just expect too much out of him.

  16. I went 5 for 7 today with 2 HomeRuns. One of my hits was an infield single cuz I’m a speedy SOB these days boys. I faced all left handed pitchers for the Blue Jays est team which was kinda sh*tty but whatever. I’m playing golf tomorrow and watching the Mavericks game but I’ll play again on Monday hopefully. I’m hoping to platoon with the mighty Wilson Valdez in about 3-4 weeks.

    1. If you were paying attention to your own career, you’d realize that you hit LHP much better than RHP despite being LH yourself.

    1. Agreed Julio needs to be in a position of help should the bad luck continue. And Buck needs to shine in a brighter light.

  17. Howard is on pace to hit 35 Home Runs and drive in 150. That’s not really all that bad.

    1. No one is saying it’s BAD – well, some people are, but they are wrong … just not as great as people think, given the whole picture, position, low obp, fielding … and the fact that the RBI (and he almost certainly wont get that many) doen’t mean that much independant of his good but not that spectacular power numbers.

      Look, as long as people make a fetish of RBIs Howard will look better than he is. Over the course of his career, his high RBI totals are a function of his power, which is prodigious (but already accounted for) and an extraordinary number of RBI opportunities. His clutch performance over the course of his career is average.

      1. It also has to do with the fact that he raises his OPS 100 points with RISP as opposed to the bases empty. As opposed to a guy like Adam Dunn who sees a huge dropoff with RISP over bases empty.

        1. That has a lot to do with the fact that it’s harder to play the shift when runners are in scoring position

        2. … Please tell me this wasn’t a serious comment. You couldn’t be more wrong. His career OPS is indeed higher .. because he gets a ton of IBB. Which lead to zero RBI. Take the IBB away, and he is … essentially the same hitter with RISP as he is overall. His BA is essentially the same, his power the same – maybe a tiny bit better, as is the case with the average hitter.

          In a small sample size, THIS season, he is doing a little better. Anyone who thinks that this (as opposed to his career numbers) is likely to persist over a full season … doesn’t have a very good grasp of statistics.

        3. Adam Dunn and a lot of people. Check the BOTTOM of the espn batter stats.

          1. Dunn is a guy that indeed has a worse than average career performance with RISP. And thus if we were evaluating HIM, we would need to get into the thorny debate as to whether that has any predictive value going forward, and whether it represents anything other than pure luck. But with Howard we don’t need to get into that debate, since his career “clutch” performance is just about what we would expect given this overall performance.

            For some things – like fielding – there is a legitimate debate between subjective analysis and objective analysis. But for Howard’s “clutch” ability there is no debate – simple, non analytical stats (splits) disprove the subjective belief that he is a particularly clutch hitter looking at his career as a whole.

  18. The thing thats scary is that even with all the injuries and people not playing like they usually do the phills are still 22-10. Imagine how good this team will be when everybody is healthy and everything is clicking.

    1. The health point is legitimate (though an older roster = more injuries; you can’t assume perfect health going forward), but the argument that the team will be better when “everything is clicking” is not. I would say that ON BALANCE the healthy Phillies have performed a tad better than expected. Sure Ibanez, even if he is cooked, probably won’t flirt with the Mendoza line all year – and there are a couple other examples, Blanton has for example been unlucky in terms of ER allowed – but on the other hand Polanco isn’t going to bat .366 for the season and Madson won’t pitch to an 0.69 era. And so on.

      If Utley comes back anywhere close to full strength and the team is otherwise not terribly unlucky in terms of injuries and performance, I think they will coast to a divisional championship. If Utley doesn’t come back, or (more likely), comes back but isn’t himself or ends up back on the DL, they could be in a real dog fight with Atlanta.

  19. Savery walked again–turning into a daily occurence. Hewitt with a walk and a dinger.

  20. Maybe Savery and Hewitt are reading the site. I may be wrong but doesn’t Julio have to be protected this winter. If so he might get a September song. Is he the top pitcher in the system now?????

  21. omg look at the lineup francisco ibanez valdez and sardina really bad, look at there average, slug percent obp poor poor

    1. That was a painful appearance. He showed pretty much nothing – not even outstanding velocity. You know it’s bad when you’re relieved that Danys Baez is coming in to take over. Need I say more?

  22. yeah I was big on him for two years now believe if he ever gets it , it wont be here. him and baez wont be here much longer, stutes i thought got squeeze by the umpire,but not a excuse for his performance, i am a big stutes fan,what happen was he was squeeze and had to lay one in.

  23. Tough night for Mathieson. I guess we can all cross him off the “maybe” list now. this is a guy that was getting beat up by MLB hitters when he threw 97-99 mph. With the same pitch only 91-93 mph, he has zero upside.

  24. Not necessarily ready to cross Mathieson off that “maybe” list. Not yet, anyway.
    I do think they need to find a role for him OR ship him elsewhere.
    It’s important to note that last year Mathieson was essentially a one-inning, two-of-every-three-days, back-end-of-the-bullpen pitcher. And for the most part he thrived.
    This year he is being stretched into a new role as a multi-innings guy with no regularity in his work. He went eight days between appearances before the night of this call-up.
    I don’t know if this is having any impact, but he clearly didn’t show the same type of stuff last night as he had even in spring training.
    He’s been passed by others in the system, that’s obvious in his work schedule. It really might be best to move Mathieson to another team.

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